Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in networking will explore concepts in control systems, enterprise network management, routing, and computer systems architecture. Those that graduate will be prepared for entry-level jobs involving information storage, transmission, and systems.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Networking
Students enrolled in a networking bachelor’s degree program are taught the rudiments of computer technology; they learn to design, install, analyze, and maintain networks. They garner skills related to operating systems and programming languages and will become adept at evaluating, analyzing, designing, managing, administering, and troubleshooting networks. Prospective network specialists are taught about enabling Internet services, creating WAN or LAN systems, allowing network security, and working with wireless networks.
Bachelor’s degree programs in networking cover computer networking, network security, network technologies, and network administration; prospective students can also find a networking concentration by enrolling in information technology programs.
While admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma, additional requirements varying by institution may also have to be satisfied.
Coursework within networking programs generally covers many general IT courses to augment networking-specific classes and hands-on instruction. Students enrolled in some programs are allowed to participate in a capstone course that includes creating and configuring a network. Coursework within a networking bachelor’s degree program may include topic areas such as:
With the increased use of and reliance on computer networks in the current economy, there is a burgeoning demand in various settings for professionals that are adept at managing and supporting these networking systems. Employers may include insurance providers, government agencies, business management organizations, and computer systems design companies. Graduates may seek job titles such as:
•Network security analysts
•Computer network administrator
Job and Wage Outlook
A job growth of 28% has been predicted for network and computer systems administrators over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals took home an average annual wage of $72,560. Over the same decade, database administrators are expected to see a much faster than average 31% growth rate. In May 2012, these administrators took home an average annual wage of $77,080. Between 2010 and 2020 computer network architects, Web developers, and information security analysts are expected to witness growth of 22%. In May 2012, information security analysts and network architects banked average annual wages of $86,170, and $91,000 respectively.
Continuing Education Choices
Given the constant evolution in the field of computer technology, experts in the field must stay abreast of advancements in software and hardware. Graduates of the bachelor’s program may opt for continued education in computer networking by earning a master’s degree, including Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs, wherein the coursework examines systems management, marketing, and database management.
They may also boost their employment opportunities by obtaining various software-specific certifications, including the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Server Administrator credential (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).